Are Kettlebells Better Than Dumbbells?

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Kettlebells have gained popularity over the past few years although they have been around for decades. They are a traditional Russian cast iron weight, and now a days, you can find modern versions of them in any fitness store that sells exercise equipment. They come in a range of sizes from 8 lbs. up to 100 lbs. or more.

If you're like me, you probably wonder if kettlebells have an advantage over dumbbells. You have probably seen some kettlebell exercises and wonder what is the big deal? Can't you do the same thing with dumbbells? Some people may say yes and others may strongly disagree.

Can You Do the Same Kettlebell Exercises with Dumbbells?

From what I've read online, the answer is yes you can. However, kettlebells add more of a challenge due to their size and shape. The handles on a kettlebell are much thicker than that of a dumbbell which means it is more of a challenge to grip and move around. Therefore if you are looking for a more challenging workout, kettlebells will probably provide it a little more than dumbbells. Also, I would imagine the shape of a dumbbell would make it awkward to do moves like the kettlebell swing.
Kettlebells
photo credit: WilsonB

Why Kettlebells Then?

Kettlebell movements cause your body to work as one unit. You utitilize stabilizer muscles on a lot of the moves. Also, the movements are fast and after several reps and sets, you will have done an incredible cardio workout.

While kettlebells are still "weights" they do help to build muscle. If you are looking to build a bodybuilder's physique, stick to what bodybuilders use: dumbbells, barbells, etc. Kettlebell training is known to effectively burn fat, shed the pounds, and develop more muscle definition in general.

Are Kettlebells Better Than Dumbbells?

Depending on who you ask, you may get a yes or no. In general, one is not better than the other - they are just different - and both offer their own sets of advantages and disadvantages.

I like having variety in my workouts so I'm sure kettlebells would be a great fit in my home gym. What is your take on the kettlebell? Have you tried them?

Sources:
Kettlebell Training Concepts and Benefits
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kettlebell

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74 Comments

  1. Mike Eves October 27, 2009
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  3. Mike Eves October 27, 2009
    • Tyciol February 10, 2012
  4. Mike Eves October 28, 2009
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  5. John Logan October 28, 2009
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